Saturday, 6 October 2012

A change is as good as a rest.

Picture the scene. The cake tin is empty, the skies are grey and the cake fiend (aka the young master Vander-Cave) is due home soon and my energy levels are low. I definitely need something to lift my spirits and give me the energy boost to get through the rest of the day. Looking in the baking ingredients cupboard I decided on brownies and turned to my favourite brownie recipe by Nigel Slater from his kitchen diary. As a regular brownie baker I have tried many recipes over years before finally settling on the Nigel Slater recipe as my favourite brownie. Rich dense chocolate brownie with hunks of 70% dark chocolate, it is a chocolate lovers dream. Sadly, on this particular day, I only had 200gms of chocolate which was not enough for Nigel's recipe. I didn't have the energy to go to the shop for more (remember we live 15mins from the nearest supermarket). Not to be thwarted I pulled out my now well thumbed Hummingbird bakery cookbook to discover their brownie recipe only needed 200gms of dark chocolate. Result! Particularly as the recipe is a mix it all together type recipe which fitted perfectly with my low energy levels. I was very pleased with this low effort version of brownies and although not quite as deep as Nigel's offering, it was a very good alternative with a nice crust on top and a slightly gooey, soft, 'fudgy' centre. One I am sure I will  use again. I think  this recipe would convert well to a gluten free version, although Gem will say she already has the perfect gluten free brownie recipe (which I promise I will wrestle from her sometime soon and blog for all the gluten free peeps who read this!)

Hummingbird Bakery Brownies

33 x 23 x 5-cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper. I used my square 23x23cm silicone cake tin and didn't line it.
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs
icing sugar, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.

Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until well incorporated.

Add the flour and stir until well incorporated. Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy.

Leave to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar.

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